Thursday, 20 September 2007


We're building greenhouses to grow our vegies and tree seedlings in. We will grow mostly in raised beds, with some plants around the beds to make use of all the space within the greenhouses.

The first greenhouse we've built over two recycled halves of an old rainwater tank which were here when we bought the farm. I transplanted the ornamental plants out of those and onto a terrace outside my sewing room to improve the view there.

The greenhouses were made by placing halves of star pickets into the ground, and bending lengths of poly pipe from side to side to form arches. Poles were erected at each end and in the centre, and a length of timber runs along the centre top of the tunnel to hold the arches into place. Lengths of various materials (hat section steel battens and some timber) were then attached parallel to the top beam, providing framework for the shadecloth and plastic to attach to.

We decided upon shadecloth at each end and one strip in the middle for ventilation. All-plastic can lead to some problems with mildew on plants. The majority of the tunnel is plastic because we live in a high-rainfall area. It will also help maintain temperatures and humidity on those days where the weather varies.

I'm currently watering the plants by hand with a hose. Water is either rainwater or creek water and is gravity fed from a tank on the hill behind the greenhouse.

The greenhouse in these pictures is close to the house and sheds. There is another, larger greenhouse on the other side of the house amongst stage 1 of the orchard and the chook house (which is also a poly-tunnel like this but uses different materials). That greenhouse will be for larger crops - corn, pumpkin, cucumbers and anything which rambles or likes to spread out or up. In this first greenhouse I will grow mainly herbs, salad greens, other greens, peas and beans, some tomatoes etc. I will post an update when as the greenhouses are finished.

Here are two of our helpers!


mummabare said...

oooh we are contemplating building a greenhouse...yours look fantastic!!

Happy gardening!


Bel said...

It's a fantastic way to beat the enemies - bad weather, bug population explosions, hungry critters...

Miss K said...

That looks great Bel! i love the idea

Mrs Mecomber said...

Very nice greenhouse!

We live in Upstate New York. I wish we had a larger, more rural property to do all the things you can do! We do grow our own veggies in the short growing season that we have here (late May to early Sept). I'm still waiting for my husband to let us get chickens!

Nice blog. I love to learn about Australia.

Bel said...

Welcome Mrs Mecomber! I'll bet our gardens are sooooo different. I feel blessed to be able to grow all year round. BUT I've never seen snow! :)